Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wisteria & lazy days

There is nothing I enjoy more in Spring than blooming Wisteria. Now that I am back from a wonderfully relaxing ocean break with some girlfriends, I feel refreshed and delighted to get back to blogging and also to be welcomed home to this....

 I apologize now for the Iphone pics ;)

This is the first week of Wisteria blooms and it is definitely making for one lazy gardener. The tools are down, the gloves are tossed and the galoshes kicked off. Its now time for Lounging out on my well loved stone patio under a canopy of bursting, deliciously fragrant blooms. Surrounded by the lushness of the garden beyond in my own perfect little retreat. Now all I need is a tall glass of iced-tea (ok wine) and a few new gardening magazines (and maybe a clean house to ease the lazy-day guilt!)...Ahhh total springtime bliss! Its days like this I really do live for, that make you stop with the rushing of responsibility and enjoy the simple things.

Looking up from my lazy spot on the patio...ahhh bliss!
About my wisteria....
I have 3 different types of Wisteria, 5 plants in total. Chinese wisteria vines (Wisteria sinensis) slowest growing out of the three, Japanese wisteria vines (Wisteria floribunda) the one I have on back trellis is by far the largest of the lot and lastly the American wisteria vines (Wisteria frutescens).
All nearly ten years old and very well established. Four are trained to climb and snake through my large trellis that covers the back patio. I also have another one out the front that covers the small trellis above the garage door. It has taken to both shade and sun locations, I find the sunnier the spot the earlier the blooms.

Japanese wisteria vines (Wisteria floribunda) always the first to bloom

One thing I have learnt though, is that Wisteria roots love to spread and are rather invasive. They have grown under the stone patio which has now formed huge cracks. (I like to call this shabby chic character as to stay positive about one of my fave plants) They have a pretty aggressive root system, so move away from foundations, even concrete is not safe!

I like to give my wisteria a good cut back every few years, it actually loves it and is all the more thicker the next year. It is an extremely fast grower and puts out tentacle like branches, that will literally start climbing up anything it reaches. We had one start to climb our drain pipe last year, it was easiest to remove while still green and limber, but once it reaches about 1/2 in in diameter it becomes woody and not supple, making its wrapping and weaving branches hard to pull out of where ever it has started to twist around. The vines will also over time, mesh together to create one thick super vine. So really train it where you want it and cut back what you don't. I am constantly cutting it back through summer.

Here is a mesh of 5 different vines slowly becoming one, its huge!

Wisteria have to be one of the easiest plants to grow from cuttings, just cut of a new shoot that it sends up from the ground near the main trunk and poke it in a pot of soil, sprout the roots and voila a baby Wisteria plant. I cut these shoots back as soon as I see them, if not they will grow to be upwards of 10ft and will start growing around anything. We went on vacation last year and in two weeks it had twisted shooters all around my patio furniture...crazy!

They truly are the lazy day plant, when the sun is shinning and when the warm breeze blows the perfume your way, all I want to do is lay down and enjoy a Nana nap. One of my favorite simple joys of spring!

I am giggling, as this went from a Wordless Wednesday post to a short little study on the plant. Guess I had more to say than I!

Some other great posts on growing Wisteria - Beautiful Wisteria eye-candy - In the Garden blog, Building a Wisteria Arbor  - Great info on Wisteria basics


  1. Wow..fabulous post...such magnificent wisteria...thanks for sharing this spotlight...gorgeous!

  2. I do that too. I can not keep the keyboard quiet. I would put the tools down to admire too. Wisteria is a great plant.

  3. Yes actually QUITE A LOT OF WORDS. But since you enlightened me about wisteria cuttings I will let it go this time. And who knew there were so many sorts of wisteria? And it can take over furniture while you aren't looking! (Do you have insurance for it, like earthquake insurance?) Fortunately it is gorgeous and fragrant and a symbol of lazy days. Great post. Now please pass that wine...

  4. Your Wisteria is gorgeous. I love to look at it and smell it, but afraid it would totally take over my patio cover. I can't get over how thick the vines are.

  5. Hi Julia, First timer here. Love your blog. Wisteria used to be in my garden but I, like some of the others, was worried about world domination. When it whispered that it was in line to swallow the house in one gulp, I said, no more! I sure miss those lovely blossoms though.

  6. This is the plant which I love but which I don't have in my garden. I heard too much about it being very strong and agressive. My garden is not big enough to have such a plant. I am thinking about getting a wisteria tree, although.
    Yours look very attractive, and it looks like you both get along very well. Beautiful blooms!

  7. Love wisteria, but I too have been afraid to put it in my garden. However, your post has inspired me to try one on my gazebo.

  8. Beautiful wisteria! I like the shot where you're looking up from the patio. Makes me feel like I'm lounging, looking up at the sky, and ignoring my housework too. :)

  9. Your wisteria is beautiful and I love how it makes a blooming roof over your head .... You have blue skies even on a cloudy day :)

  10. Beautiful! Wish I could pull up a chair and sit with you :) I just keep taking full whiffs of my woodland phlox. Instant intoxication.

    It seems that a good wisteria owner is one who enjoys gardening and attending to the progress of this climber. Kind of like a pet... to be seriously considered before committing.

    How is that Monet's Garden book coming along btw?

  11. It is beautiful -- at your house. Here it can eat a house, literally, in the long growing season. I stood at the door today and watched He-how-mows MOW wisteria sprouts in the lawn from where we DUG wisteria last year. Don't worry, we still have plenty.

  12. Hi Julia, this is my first visit to your blog!
    I just love your wisterias! They are so beautiful as well as they are impressive plants. I can imagine you sitting or even lying on you patio under the wonderful canopy of wisteria blooms. What a joy that must be!

  13. Waking to all these beautiful comments has made my day! Thank you friends for taking the time, I appreciate it soooo much!!
    @Victoria, thanks for your sweet words =)
    @GWGT, lol, my keyboard would just not stop!
    @Linniew, glad I could enlighten you, now do you want white or red ;)
    @Sunray, there are times when it does get to hard to handle, luckily shears are my friend! The vines are amazing how they morph into one.
    @Grace, WELCOME! I am so excited you have come for a visit. I totally giggled at the image of your house being! maybe one day there will be a safe place for it on your property, it really is all about placement..GL!

  14. @Tatyana, If you are worried about its aggressive agenda, a tree would be perfect and just as lovely! Would love to hear if you get one, the blooms are so worth it!
    @Holley, Yay! There really is nothing quite as beautiful as wisteria. If you're worried about its roots, plant it in a wine barrel to stop them from spreading. Can't wait 2C!
    @Bumble, I could've spent all day out there! Housework is there every day, this is only here a few weeks a year =)

  15. @Kimmie, I love that! Blue skies on a cloudy day, perfect for this Seattle girl who misses even a glimpse of blue. Love it all the more now, thanks!
    @WMG, I wish you could too! Would love to share this with my gardening friends =) Oh and its totally like a pet that I get for the summer, it even makes a mess of my! I am still on a hunt for the book. I love trying to find it at second hand book stores before I go the B&N way. Its an exciting treasure hunt!
    @NellJean, sounds like your removed wisteria is a resilient one. It keeps coming back, kinda scary! A little horror movie sounding, attack of the killer! Glad you still have some to enjoy =)
    @OGD, WELCOME!! So excited you have stopped by =) And yes, I was totally laying out under them yesterday on my lounge, I may of even dozed off...perfect spring bliss!! I am really enjoying your blog, love learning organic ways.

  16. What a great article on wisteria. I was under the impression that both Asian wisterias were equally fast. I guess your Chinese is slower than your American. I am afraid that my Japanese wisteria (that's what it must be) is going to pull down the house, but I still love it. your pergola is gorgeous. I have to do that.

  17. There are very few things that are as intoxicating as the scent of wisteria. The blossoms remind me of delicious smelling clusters of grapes. Bees love them too. I was once stung by a bumble bee that flew out of our wisteria when I was a child. OUCH! I still love wisteria, but now I look out for bees!

  18. @Carolyn, thanks so much for stopping by =) I find that mine grow at different rates, it may be the climate, location, health of the plant. But I'm always finding myself out there with shears in hand cutting away at the Japanese more so than the Chinese. But thats just personal experience. They are both as invasive as each other though =(
    @Ramona, Oh no, thanks for the reminder to watch out for those bees =)

  19. They sure are sweet! I can imagine hanging out under them.

  20. My wisteria is in its infancy stage. It's great to see what it might be when it "grows up!" But as of today nary a leaf.

  21. What a great welcome home! Your wisteria is simply lovely. Yours has spread so wide and drapes so beautifully.

  22. @Tina, I wish you could all come over and enjoy a lazy day in my garden =) by the way, your lillies are lovely!
    @GS, Just think in a few years...ahhh, beautiful blooms of your own!
    @Michelle, It was a beautiful welcome, against the dark gray skies and the whinny kids, it made coming home!

  23. Hi Julia, thanks for visiting my blog, and I'm delighted to discover yours. Your title of 'Polka Dot Galoshes' has to be among the best blog titles I've seen! And I recognised every one of your special treats - except substitute a good strong cup of tea for the coffee!

  24. Oops, also meant to say that I'll let you know how I get on with Wordpress!

  25. Hi, Julia! Thanks for visiting my blog (Fat Earth). I am so glad that I found blotanical. I see you are from Seattle. I have two friends there and I have always, always wanted to visit. Something about that place just calls to me and it's on my list of places to see.

    I saw that you want to be organic. It's easier than you think. I have been organic (or "all natural") since my garden began six years ago! I am looking forward to reading your blog and learning from you!

    All good gardening to you!

  26. Julia - the Wisteria is incredible. It's vines scare the bejeebers (a technical term) out of me! That is one 'serious' commitment when you plant those beauties... (and they are stunning!)

  27. Ahhh! Wisteria! I love it but it's so invasive here, I don't dare plant it. Had to laugh that it tried to cover your patio furniture while you were on vacation. I have a trumpet vine that I'm continually whacking just to keep it from taking over. :o)

  28. Hi Julia, great to visit your blog - the first but not the last visit! I enjoyed this post. I used to have a wonderful wisteria display on the pergola and the scent was to die for - but it frightened me because it kept getting onto the roof and threatening to lift tiles so I tried to get rid of it - but it loves being here and won't go. So we just have to learn to live together ... cheers, catmint

  29. Hi Julia, love your blog and love the wisteria photos. We bought our house 11 years ago and it came with a wisteria woven fence that encircles our yard. It is 50 years old, has trunks that are about 6" in diameter and stands 14 feet high. It is a great natural fence both for privacy and homes for all the nesting springtime birds. We absolutely love it - the solid wall of purple flowers and sweet grape smell when it is in full bloom are incredible. Unfortunately our neighbors, on both sides, don't appreciate it as much as we do and are on a quest to destroy it. We are trying to figure out a way to remove the wire fence, replace it with a cedar one and save the wisteria. I have bags full of seeds saved from the dried fall pods to plant if our attempts to save it fail. I can't imagine not having our wall of wisteria to enjoy in the spring and summer!

  30. Beautiful...I'm always so jealous of anyone I see growing Wisteria...oh, if I only had the room!


Thanks for stopping by and reading my latest post! I love sharing my gardening adventures and reading your wonderful comments. Happy digging...Cheers Julia!!

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